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Restaurants near the Jazz Gallery in Soho

Heading to the Jazz Gallery tonight and am stumped about restaurants west of Sixth Avenue, below Houston and above Canal. I thought there was a tapas place, but maybe I'm imagining things. Or a nice veggie restaurant- Urban Kitchen or something?

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  1. urban kitchen closed a while ago and was right next door. ivo and lulu is a nice place and nearby, also look at mooncake on watts and sixth. if you go west on spring to greenwich or washington, you've got giorgione (nice italian place), pao (portuguese but I don't really like it, and also a tapas place next to the Ear Inn, where the tapas are decent, but a bit rough. the place turns into a full-on dance club saturday nights, so be aware of that.

    9 Replies
    1. re: bigjeff

      Giorgione 508 is a bit of a sleeper in my opinion - very good pastas, a high quality cheese plate selection and nice wines by the glass. Avoid Pintxos on the same stretch - quite highly talked of but mighty disappointing the one time I went there earlier this year.

      Agree that Mooncake and Ivo&Lulu are good options.

      1. re: oonth

        ya I don't enjoy pintxos either, and for sure, the giorgione is a neighborhood "shhhhhhh"

        and for higher end, dani is nearby, as well as EN, but those are kinda nice nice places.

        1. re: bigjeff

          Looks like we sing from the same hymn sheet in terms of our West Soho (realtor speak I know) tastes. I also think that Turks & Frogs south of Canal on Greenwich is a decent standby.

          Thing with Pintxos is that it claims to be Basque and it just isn't, I've spent time in Bilbao and San Sebastian and the food there is distinctive and spectacular and the food at Pintxos is well, not distinctive and not spectacular.

          In fact I don't think that Manhattan does particularly well on the Spanish food front apart from a few items at Tia Pol and Bar Carrera as well as the outstanding Despana.

          1. re: oonth

            where is despana? had some generic experiences at flor de sol (also in the neighborhood, sorta) and some nice meals at boqueria, but it didn't feel particularly soulful, any of it. the best place I've had tapas is in williamsburg, where it was small, very convivial and just felt very warm, the name is Zipi Zape, apparently the name of a famous spanish comic strip. eat at the bar, chat w/ the very nice bartenders/owners and very nice.

            1. re: bigjeff

              Despana is Broome and Lafayette. It's the Manhattan outpost of a Queens Spanish food importer. Opened in early 2006 I think. Go there and check out a cross section of items from the shelves, the deli section and the tapas/bocadillo counter. I would recommend the guindilla peppers from the shelves, the nevat cheese, the lomo iberico and pretty much anything from the tapas/bocadillo counter.

              I walked by Zipi Zape a few times and never went in. Stupid me as I'm not living in NYC at the moment!

          2. re: bigjeff

            Actually just read the last line of your post and perhaps there is one non-alignment in our tastes as the one time I tried Dani, I thought that it was poor. Again it claims to be something that it's not i.e. Sicilian but, as with Pintxos, more importantly it does mediocre food IMO. EN is good especially for a sake fiend like me although I think that there are better izakayas/modern Japanese places in the city.

            1. re: oonth

              ya dani is nice and fancy, nice nice refers to the pricepoint only, but had some good sandwiches there for lunch and some light pastas. EN is a totally sublime experience that's not for the everyday at all; kasadela comes to mind when I want something more casual and less intense.

              I happen to work in the area for the last few years, so I've eaten around the immediate area and really, its a matter of the fact that its so lacking, which makes these places stand out. once place I'm curious to try is the french place on washington and watts? well-known for its souffles apparently. and further down greenwich is all manner of mediocrity (il mattone, even tribeca grill I was not totally impressed with) unless you want dylan prime (yummy) or wolfgang (yummy) but I'm not totally into that stuff usually.

              1. re: bigjeff

                EN's standout item IMO is their yuba (soy milk skin) sashimi. I've seen that stuff being made in a Japanese friend's kitchen and it's a real labour of love! My go to izakayas were Sakagura and Aburiya Kinnosuke, always had top quality food, drink and service at both places.

                The French place is called Capsouto Freres I think. Never went, I used to love French bistro/brasserie fare as a teenager but don't dig it so much any more.

                I lived in TriBeCa for 2 years and found the worthwhile places to be, in no particular order, Industria Argentina, Blaue Gans, Megu, The Harrison, Upstairs at Bouley. Salaam Bombay and Mai House weren't too bad either.

                1. re: oonth

                  ya salaam bombay had some health violations, mai house is alright as well as viet cafe (another newcomer), the blaue gans did not impress me for some reason, and I've yet to go to landmarc which will probably be awesome. on to it!

      2. Aquagrill is a short walk, not west of 6th, but definitely worth it. Enjoy the Jazz Gallery, I absolutely love that place!